Although Mark of Cain isn't a bad movie, and most of the acting is in fact pretty good, it seems to be lacking a clear purpose. For a movie that aims to make a political statement, it seems to pull its punches at the most crucial moments. As a movie that wants to tell a story about a modern war, although realistic and often gritty, it is not nearly as powerful as Platoon or as intricate as Jarhead. In fact, the power of the story seems to peter out after the first two-thirds of the movie. For example, the technique of starting with a crucial scene, and then flashing back to this scene as the story unfolds, becomes less powerful. Eventually, the viewer pretty well knows what to expect. Watch Mark of Cain, expect some poignant scenes, but don't expect any new insights in that fiasco known as Iraq and don't expect to see war's truly horrific face.